What is Montessori Education?
This is in our reading and writing room, which we call the blue room.
As a Colorado Preschool, we follow the Colorado Early Learning and Development Guidelines. This ensures a holistic approach to learning. In addition, at Golden Mountain we follow the Montessori method of education that was created by a scientist named Dr. Maria Montessori. It is based on self-directed activity, hands-on learning and collaborative play.
In Montessori classrooms children make choices in their learning. They follow their own progression of learning based on where they are, and their interest with the material. The classroom and the teacher offer age-appropriate activities to guide the process. Children work in groups and individually to learn health, physical development, social and emotional development, language, literacy, numeracy, logic and reasoning, discovering and exploring knowledge of the world and to develop their maximum potential.
Our Montessori classrooms are beautifully crafted environments designed to meet the needs of children ages 3-6. Dr. Maria Montessori discovered that experiential learning in this type of classroom led to a deeper understanding of language, mathematics, science, music, social interactions and much more. Our school is secular in nature, meaning we celebrate holidays and birthdays, but we do not offer any faith-based teaching. This is a non-religious school.
Every material in our classroom supports an aspect of child development, creating a match between the child’s natural interests and the available activities. Children can learn through their own experience and at their own pace. They can respond at any moment to the natural curiosities that exist in all humans and build a solid foundation for life-long learning.
Our school offers Preschool and Kindergarten
We foster the growth of functional independence, task persistence and self-regulation.
We promote social development through respectful, clear communication and safe, natural consequences.
Golden Mountain contains a large variety of materials for the refinement of sensory perception and the development of literacy and mathematical understanding.
We offer opportunities for imaginative exploration leading to confident, creative self-expression.
Above all, our Montessori classrooms nurture each child’s individual strengths and interests. Montessori education encourages children to explore their world, and to understand and respect the life forms, systems and forces of which it consists.
The video below Titled My Day, is an example of Montessori Education.
In this 19 min. video experience the Montessori approach through three primary children as they journey through their morning work periods.
The guiding principles of Montessori education are grounded in over one hundred years of work with children around the world.
Maria Montessori profoundly respected children and the developmental powers that drive them to seek certain experiences. Montessori education reframes the adult/child relationship to place the child at the center of his own learning. Teachers respect children as separate and unique individuals. They guide children to respect the people and objects in their environment, and as the child grows older, to respect and understand the connectedness between all living and non-living things, leading to the profound awareness of the complex web of human existence.
Children’s needs change as they move through stages of development. At each level of this difference is honored through the preparation of the classroom environment. The environment is prepared in every way for optimal development: physically, cognitively, socially and emotionally. By aligning the activities in the environment with what each child needs at any moment, Montessori prepared environments liberate children’s energy for growth and learning.
In the interactive environment, hands-on exploration is not only encouraged, it is necessary. By using the mind, the body, and the senses, learning becomes an activity that engages the whole self.
One of the most profound differences between Montessori education and conventional education is that, in Montessori, children are given the experience of discovering the answer for themselves. This leads to a much deeper learning experience, and creates a lifelong love of learning as a self-directed process of problem-solving and discovery.
A MONTESSORI-TRAINED ADULT
The trained Montessori teacher links the child to activities and experiences in the prepared environment. Specialized training results in a deep knowledge of child development, the purposes and use of each activity, and an understanding of how to foster and maintain social harmony in the classroom.
Montessori classrooms support the development of imagination and creativity at every stage of learning. The open-ended activities allow children to explore new ideas and relationships, providing a foundation for self-expression and innovation. In the early years, the building blocks of imagination are firmly established through sensory exploration of the world, launching both imagination and creative self-expression.
FREEDOM OF CHOICE
Maria Montessori recognized that when allowed freedom of choice within clear, firm and reasonable boundaries, children act in positive ways that further their development. Freedom is frequently misunderstood, and many people take it to mean that children can do whatever they want. Montessori believed that freedom without boundaries was abandonment. In Montessori classrooms, expectations are clear, and children experience the natural and logical consequences of their choices. This freedom within limits allows for the natural development of self-regulation within the society of the classroom, as well as mirroring behaviors expected by society in general.
From the moment of birth onwards, humans strive towards independence. Children feel this need very strongly; they want to do things for themselves, and to participate in the world around them. In Montessori classrooms, this natural drive towards independence is fostered through practical, social and intellectual experiences. The child becomes an active agent in her own education, saying, “Help me to do it myself”. We honor this by helping children move to increasingly higher levels of independence and self-reliance.